DescriptionIn 1870, 70 families settled in this northwest area of Iowa and named their settlement after the Dutch House of Orange. The families lived in tents and wagons until after they built a schoolhouse. Within 5 years the population had grown to 2,500, and the forerunner of Northwestern College, enrollment 1,200, had been established. On campus, the 1894 Zwemer Hall and the contemporary Christ Chapel represent two very different architectural styles; the chapel contains a 57-rank Dutch organ.
Dedicated in 1904, the three-story, red and white sandstone Sioux County Courthouse remains a splendid example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture. A statue of Blind Justice tops the spire of its square 120-foot tower.
The business area downtown maintains a Dutch architectural theme, with six windmill replicas adorning Molen Garden in Windmill Park. Across the street Stadscentrum (meaning “City Center”) houses a Dutch street organ and wooden shoe carving equipment; contact the chamber of commerce for demonstration and tour information. The chamber office, located on Highway 10, is in a 76-foot-high reproduction of a windmill. The replica Vogel Old Mill graces the property of Diamond Vogel Paints.
During the tulip blooming season (mid-April to late May), the gardens at Tulip Town Bulb Co., 116 1st St. S.W., are open for viewing; phone (712) 737-3670. The annual Tulip Festival, held the third weekend in May, takes place along Central Avenue and around Windmill Park and the Courthouse lawn. Wooden shoe carving demonstrations are offered during the festival.
Children tired of car confinement can expend energy at a large wooden, castle-like playground, “Kinderspeelland,” in Veterans' Memorial Park on Iowa Avenue.
InfoOfficeOrange City Chamber of Commerce 509 8th St. S.E. ORANGE CITY, IA 51041. Phone:(712)707-4510
Self-guiding toursA brochure describing a walking tour of downtown is available at the chamber of commerce.